Evaluating Propagation Loss Model Effects on Passive Radar Performance Predictions: AREPS vs. ITM

Ted Dabrowski


Passive bistatic radar (PBR) provides a means to detect cooperative and non-cooperative objects within an airspace. The area and detail of coverage depends largely on illuminator of opportunity density and environmental conditions. With the increase of non-cooperative unmanned aerial vehicles, PBR could serve as a primary radar on land based or aerial platforms.

This thesis builds on previous work on PBR performance prediction and investigates the importance of radio propagation loss models. Two models of different complexities are selected for evaluation: the Irregular Terrain Model and the Advanced Refractive Effects Prediction System. Model outputs are used to predict echo signal-to-noise rations and ultimately the Cramér-Rao-Lower-Bound for PBR lateral localization accuracy (LLA) in various scenarios.

Model differences are analyzed by comparing individual and statistical data on three levels: predicted propagation loss, PBR loss, PBR LLA, and differences in practical PBR design guidance suggested by the simulator. Future analysis should consider additional models and comparisons to truth data from ground receiver and flight trials.